For some time now experts on the COVID pandemic have been telling us about the importance of testing to help ferret out the contagion and trace its spread. Our governor has even made a recent COVID test a substitute for a 14-day quarantine for summer residents and visitors entering Maine.

However, the regular TV briefings by Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention director, do not contain much specific information about what tests are available, the efficacy of the various tests, how much time is needed, where to get a test or the cost.

Dr. Shah has mentioned increased testing capacity thanks to a new Idexx test, but so far has not told us how the test performs, how many of these tests are being done, for whom or where. There are rumors of an Abbott test that gives a quick result. Can we be given some accurate information about these tests, how they perform or how we can get them?

A section on the Maine CDC website describing the tests currently in use and how to get them would be very helpful. The information could include testing resources in nearby states for persons seeking to enter Maine. News media and TV could also help educate Maine residents on the specifics of testing and how to obtain tests.

The more we know about what testing is being done and how to get access to testing, the better we’ll be able to live with this virus until a vaccine or cure is developed.

Peter L. Murray

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